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This Weekend on the East End: Tree Lightings, Art, Fun for Kids

The East End holiday season hits high gear this weekend with Christmas tree and menorah lightings, Santa visits, community parties, art shows and a host of other events on both forks this weekend.

East Hampton Village’s Santa Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 1. The 30-minute parade of floats, elves, bands, Santa and much more starts on Main Street then turns onto Newtown Lane. While in town, also check out the Golden Eagle’s Gingerbread House Class from 11:30-12:30 a.m. Build gingerbread houses with assorted sweets and enjoy holiday music for $30 at, appropriately, 14 Gingerbread Lane. The East Hampton Library is also showing a Morning Movie Christmas double feature, including Arthur Christmas from 10:15 a.m. to 12 p.m., followed by Dick Van Dyke’s 1967 holiday classic Fitzwilly at 2 p.m. Call 631-324-0222 to register.

Sag Harbor’s annual Christmas tree lighting begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, right below the beautifully lit village windmill on Long Wharf. Keep your eye out for Santa, who will be dropping by, then walk historic Main Street to shop or enjoy one of Sag Harbor’s many excellent restaurants. Everything will be charmingly lit and decorated for added holiday cheer.

Farther west, Southampton Village is brimming with festive holiday happenings all day on Saturday. Drop by the Rogers Mansion, 17 Meeting House Lane, between 11 a.m and 4 p.m. for the family-oriented A 50s Christmas in Southampton exhibit. Open Tuesday-Saturday through January 5, the exhibit features a look back at Christmas decorations, toys and gifts children and adults received during the 1950s, as well as photographs from several Southampton family archives and a recreation of a 1950s living room with a tree.

Also try the It’s a Wonderful Village Holiday Stroll, an all-day event, which includes Horse & Buggy Rides from 2-4 p.m., carolers and light refreshments at the Chamber of Commerce office at 76 Main Street. The annual Parade of Lights—highlighted by a long line of festively decorated and illuminated fire trucks—begins on Windmill Lane at 4:45 p.m. and concludes at Agawam Park where the annual Christmas tree lighting by local volunteer ambulance and fire departments begins at 5:15 p.m. Enjoy caroling by VOSH (Voices of Southampton High School) and hometown soloist Julie VanNostrand, followed by a holiday reception at Southampton Cultural Center’s Levitas Center for the Arts on Pond Lane. The fun will include Santa, music by Cultural Center piano students and the Prelude Overture String Ensemble, and refreshments. Bring your camera!

The Rogers Mansion will also host a Hearthside Cheer gathering from 5:30-7:30 p.m. with open bar, bountiful hors d’oeuvres and a piano player playing holiday songs on a baby grand. $50 ahead or $60 at the door.

Westhampton Beach’s annual Christmas tree and menorah lighting begins Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on the Village Green (170 Main Street at Mill Road). Listen to caroling by the Westhampton Beach High School chorus and the Hampton Synagogue Youth Choir, and watch for Santa, who will arrive by fire engine! Delight in free hot chocolate, cookies and potato latkes at this interfaith event.

On Sunday, December 2, the Hampton Bays annual tree lighting and visit with Santa begins at 4:30 p.m. across from the firehouse on Montauk Highway. Revel in complimentary hot chocolate, cookies and gifts for kids. Every child receives a free photo with Santa. The Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce is collecting canned goods to help restock local food banks.

On the North Fork, the Greenport Holiday Art Festival begins on Friday, November 30 and continues through the month of December. Walk the vibrant village streets and visit local galleries and their special seasonal shows.

South Street Gallery’s sixth annual 10X10 art show and sale opens Friday for first dibs, but the real party is at Saturday’s opening reception, from 6-8 p.m. at 18 South Street. This local favorite exhibition features 10×10-inch paintings— by dozens of artists—for just $100 each to benefit the North Fork Environmental Council. Also look out for Object d’Arte fine art and holiday gift items at Gallery M (407 Main Street), “Wet Into Wet” watercolor technique demonstration by Hector deCordova at deCordova Studio (538 Main Street) from 3-6 p.m and Mermania & Other Fantasies—along with fine art and holiday gift items—at Siren’s Song Gallery & Carriage House (516 Main Street) from 12:30-7 p.m., among others.

Don’t miss Santa at the Greenport Railroad Museum (440 4th Street) from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy refreshments, gifts for girls and boys and photos with Saint Nick—not to mention this great local museum. Admission is free!

The non-profit C.A.S.T., or Community Action of Southold Town, is hosting its seventh annual Holiday Happening at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the Southold Town Recreation Center (920 Peconic Lane in Peconic). Take photos with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., get creative in the craft room, transform with some face painting, peruse offerings from local artists and vendors, participate in a raffle, take in the train display and snack on baked goods and more in the café. Admission is free!

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